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GE lifts cash flow target on recovery hopes

GE’s operations are showing signs of a turnaround. The industrial conglomerate on Tuesday said it saw unexpected positive cash flow in the latest quarter, and it now sees that growing to as much as $5 billion this year. Investors eye cash flow because they see it as a sign of the health of GE’s operations and its ability to repay debt. It gives General Electric the resources to invest in its businesses, return more money to shareholders, and buy back shares. A big cash generator for GE is its aviation business that had been hammered by the health crisis as airlines grounded aircraft. The company said that business is showing “early signs of a recovery.” That unit saw the biggest improvement in a quarter that saw all of GE’s industrial segments boost their profit margins. The company’s quarterly revenue rose 9%, and its adjusted profit whizzed past analysts’ estimates. GE shares rose in early trading Tuesday, adding to their nearly 20% gain this year.

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